Exam Result Guidance

Teacher Assessed Grades

As you are aware, in the summer 2021 GCSE, AS and A Level grades were determined by Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs). At Brock, we have taken multiple steps to make sure that these grades reflect learners’ performance.  Our teachers have received clear guidance and support with the grading and making objective decisions to ensure that grades are fair.  There is also a rigorous system in place to ensure fairness, including checks in college and by awarding organisations.

In May we made you aware of the evidence teachers planned to use to determine grades so that you could raise any issues, errors or circumstances relating to particular evidence before the final grades were submitted. We processed all of the requests we received before the deadline of 18 June 2021.  Reasonable adjustments, exam access arrangements and special considerations were logged and considered where appropriate.  In addition, the final May assessments and grades have been through internal quality verification processes, involving teachers, course leaders, Heads of Curriculum and the Senior Leadership Team before the 18 June 2021 submission date.

 

Students chatting on campus front lawn

Our policy determining this process is available here:

Centre Policy for the Awarding of TAGs

Appeals Process

The appeals process for summer 2021 only allows learners to appeal their grade where they believe there has been an error.  The JCQ student guidance for appeals can be found here:

Guidance for Students and Parents

The Government and awarding organisations have indicated that an appeal is an exceptional response, rather than the norm.

“If a student thinks an error has been made in their grade, an appeals system will be in place as a safety net for exceptional circumstances and to fix any genuine errors that were not identified earlier in the process”  – Department for Education media blog 9 June 2021.

 

Students socialising in Hard Brock Cafe

What may happen to your grade during the centre review and appeals process?

If you request a centre review or an awarding organisation appeal there are three possible outcomes:

  • Your original grade is lowered, so your final grade will be lower than the original grade you received.
  • Your original grade is confirmed, so there is no change to your grade.
  • Your original grade is raised, so your final grade will be higher than the original grade you received.

Once a finding has been made you cannot withdraw your request for a centre review or appeal. If your grade has been lowered you will not be able to revert back to the original grade you received on results day.

Who can appeal?

Only a learner can appeal their own case.  A parent, guardian or other representative of a student is not permitted to appeal a TAG grade on a learner’s behalf.

When can you appeal?

Key dates for priority appeals*

10 August to 16 August 2021 – Window for students to request a centre review

10 August to 20 August 2021 – Centres conduct centre reviews

10 August to 23 August 2021 – Centres submit appeals to awarding organisations

*A priority appeal is only for students applying to higher education who did not attain their firm choice (i.e. the offer they accepted as their first choice) and wish to appeal an A Level or other Level 3 qualification result.

Key dates for non-priority appeals

From result day to 3 September 2021 – Window for students to request a centre review

From result day to 10 September 2021 – Centres conduct centre reviews

From result day to 17 September 2021 – Centres to submit appeals to awarding organisations.

 

Publication of GCE AS and A Level results – 10 August 2021

Publication of GCSE results – 12 August 2021

Note: there are no priority appeals for GCSE learners

How do you appeal? Stage 1

First, read and consider the information below.  If you have a case to appeal, you will need to complete the form below:

Appeal Form

Please complete the student section on page 2, and email to exams@wess.ac.uk which is where our exams team is based.  There are no fees payable for this appeal.  We will come back to you with the result of the centre review and will then proceed with stage 2, completing the information on pages 4 and 5.

Please note that you have to do the centre review first and then you are able to proceed to the exam board awarding organisation review.

REMEMBER THAT WHEN YOU SUBMIT THE FORM FOR APPEAL YOU ARE CONSENTING TO YOUR GRADE GOING DOWN as well as, going up or staying the same – this is different to 2020 when grades did not go down. In addition, if your grade has been lowered you will not be able to revert back to the original grade you received on results day.

 

Stage 1 – Centre Review

The first stage involves you asking your centre to review whether an administrative or procedural error has been made.

What is an administrative or procedural error?

  • The incorrect grade has been uploaded to the exam board portal e.g. a typographical error
  • The centre has not followed the process for determining and quality assuring grades (e.g. moderation, standardisation, authentication of learner work) as outlined in the policy
  • The centre has not considered relevant mitigating circumstances at the time of the assessment
  • The centre has not put in place agreed access arrangements/reasonable adjustments for assessment

You CANNOT appeal your TAG grade if your only reason is:

  • You are unhappy with your grade
  • You wanted/needed a higher grade than you have been awarded

How do you appeal? Stage 2

Stage 2 – Awarding Organisation Review

If you still don’t think you have been awarded the correct grade, you can appeal to the awarding organisation who will evaluate the evidence to determine whether:

  • The centre has made an unreasonable exercise of academic judgement in the choice of evidence from which they determined your grade and/or in the determination of your grade from that evidence.

(What does ‘unreasonable’ mean?  This is a technical term in this context and means that no educational professional acting reasonably could have selected the same evidence or come up with the same grade.  This means that just because other forms of evidence may have been equally valid to use, the selection of evidence is not unreasonable.  Because of the flexibility of the approach this year, every school and college will have used different forms of evidence.  It also means that the independent reviewers will not remark or grade learners’ evidence.  Instead, they will look to see whether any teacher acting reasonably could have arrived at the same grade.  There can be a difference of opinion without there being an unreasonable exercise of judgement).

  • The centre did not apply a procedure correctly e.g. they did not follow their Centre Policy, did not undertake internal quality assurance, did not take account of access arrangements or mitigating circumstances such as illness at the time of assessment.
  • The exam board made an administrative error e.g. they changed your grade during the processing of grades

 

The onus is on the learner to provide evidence that the teacher assessed grade awarded is ‘unreasonable’.  However, the College, as your centre, will need to appeal to the awarding organisation for you and will provide all of the information they require relating to your TAG.

At both stages you will need to submit your appeal to College and give your written consent to conduct the appeal and submit to the awarding organisation on your behalf.

It is important to remember that your grade can go down, up or stay the same through either stage of the process.  THERE IS NO OPTION TO REMAIN AT THE CURRENT GRADE IF THE OUTCOME OF THE REVIEW GIVES A LOWER GRADE.

The awarding organisation will decide whether the appeal will be accepted for evaluation or not.  They will check whether the grounds you have indicated are within the remit of the appeals process and the previous stages have been completed.

What about your university place or other progression plans?

If you have a place at a university that is dependent on your appeal, you should tell your first choice university so that they can decide how to handle your offer.  You should also ensure that you tell us you are a priority appeal – there is space to do this on the form.

What if your centre identifies an error?

Brockenhurst College’s procedure has already been checked and approved by the exam boards:  the focus of a review on procedural grounds will therefore be whether the centre followed its procedure properly and consistently in arriving at the grade being challenged.  We have already moderated and quality assured all of the grades ourselves.

In the event that there has been an error, the College will decide whether the procedural failure has affected/impacted the grade submitted.  The outcome may be that the grade stays the same, is raised or lowered.

If the centre identifies an error with the grade is submitted, it is required to submit a revised grade with the rationale for the grade change to the awarding organisation.  At this point we will ensure that the student concerned has a copy of the submission to the awarding organisation – once this stage is reached the appeal will continue and you will not be able to stop the process even if it is found that your grade should be lower than the original submission.  If the awarding organisation is satisfied with the rationale presented by the centre and it considers it is appropriate to correct the result, it will issue a revised grade.

Please note that once the College has reached a finding/outcome to Stage 1 the process must continue and you may not withdraw your appeal.

Awarding Organisation Error

If you believe the awarding organisation has made a procedural error in handling your appeal, you can apply to Ofqual’s Exam Procedures Review Service to review the process undertaken by the awarding organisation.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/regulating-gcses-as-and-a-levels-guide-for-schools-and-colleges/reviews-and-appeals

There is no route to Ofqual’s Exam Procedures Review Service for BTEC students, however a complaint may be submitted to Ofqual once the appeals process has been completed, where there is reason to believe that the awarding organisation has not followed its procedures in handling the appeal.

Appeal or Complain?

If you are unhappy with anything to do with TAGs, the process or the grade awarded you will go through the appeal process outlined above.

If you are unhappy with anything peripheral to the TAG process, you should submit a complaint. Link to the complaints policy is here:

Complaints Policy and Procedure

Going to university

Get the best place at university with the grades you have

If you are planning to go to university and your firm choice university makes you an offer, whether or not your grades are in line with your original offer – ACCEPT YOUR PLACE.

If your insurance choice makes you an offer – ACCEPT YOUR INSURANCE OFFER.

If your grades meet neither of these, you can go through Clearing and find a suitable place.  The process is outlined on the UCAS website and you will enter Clearing and be able to apply for courses through your UCAS Track login.  The College team can help you through this process.

Take exams in the Autumn 2021 Sitting

If you received a TAG, you are eligible to sit the exam in the Autumn series (October/November 2021).

The key dates are as follows:

Deadline for entries GCE A/AS Level – 06/09/2021GCSE – 30/09/2021

 

Exam datesGCE A/AS Level – 04/10/2021GCSE – 01/11/2021
ResultsGCE A/AS Level – 16/12/2021GCSE – 12/01/2022

 

Please be aware that there may be a fee for these resit exams and currently exam boards are quoting circa £130 per A Level resit.  If you would like to resit your exam in October/November, please email exams@wess.ac.uk

Contact Details

01590 625555